Attachment theory is just a theory, but one that proves many people with insights about their childhood, their relationships to their parents, and the way that they relate to other people in friendships romantic relationships, work relationships, and more. Attachment refers to the way we attached to our parents when we were children. Divided into different styles, our personal attachment style is a sign of our personality when it comes to relationships. Many people are surprised to learn that what they experience as adults has deep ties to the way they developed through childhood. Understanding the connection to childhood is difficult because it is hard to image a younger version of ourselves in another time and place since the memories are so far away. Developmental psychology, the specific realm of psychology where attachment theory lives, focuses on the way the brain is developing. What we develop as patterns, like attachment patterns, in our developmental stages leaves a lasting impact and influences the rest of the brain. Your attachment style is affecting your relationships, which can be a good thing or a bad thing .
- Secure Attachment: there is little to no conflict between parent and child in a secure attachment pattern. Children with secure attachment trust and confide in their parents, soothed by their presence and validated by their reactions. Relationships: people with secure attachment patterns tend to have successful, healthy relationships. Though they can sometimes stray toward the way of neediness because they have learned to rely on their parents so much, these people are trusting of others and trusting of being close to others.
- Anxious Attachment: parents are not perfect people. Parents can live with addiction, alcoholism, mental disorders, and all kinds of issues which get in the way of their ability to be consistent, giving parents. Consistency is important for developing brains. Too much inconsistency is confusing and overwhelming, imprinting on a child early on the inability to trust their parent. Children grow anxious, not being able to tell if they will receive the love and support they need or encounter negative reactions from their parent. Relationships: people with anxious attachment patterns have a hard time trusting other people. Since childhood, they have been consistently shown that people are inconsistent. Feeling as though they cannot trust or rely upon anyone for anything, they endure excessive worry in all areas of life.
- Avoidant Attachment: children who develop an avoidant attachment learn very blatantly that adults cannot be trusted. Parents who have abandoned children in various ways don’t form a relationship or emotional bond with their children. Children learn they have nobody to rely on and do not have sources for love. Relationships: As these children become adults themselves, they don’t trust people at all and become very isolated or self-sufficient.
- Disorganized Attachment: sadly, children can face horrendous abuse but are not able to liberate themselves from the trauma. These children develop early symptoms of PTSD and turn away from their parents. Relationships: Dissociation, PTSD, and other severe issues can develop in people with disorganized attachment. They don’t know how to relate to people in healthy ways.
In our family programming, we work with reactive attachment theory and other attachment theory methods to heal the wounds of the past in order to pave a new path for the future. Design For Change offers unparalleled peace of mind and holistic wellness for recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. For information on our family therapy services for drug and alcohol addiction recovery, call us today at (877) 267-3646.